What do Critics’ Choice Awards nominations mean for Oscars?

The Critics’ Choice Awards are one of the best barometers for predicting the Oscars. Over its 19-year history, these awards bestowed by the Broadcast Film Critics Assn. have previewed 12 Best Picture, 15 Best Director, 13 Best Actor, 11 Best Actress, 10 Supporting Actor and 12 Supporting Actress Oscar winners, including all of last year’s champs.

And with many of the key categories at these kudos having six slots, it has done well at foreseeing the eventual five Oscar nominees. Below, an analysis of this year’s BFCA nominations in the top six races, including handicapping the likelihood of these encompassing the eventual rosters at the Oscars. 

Related: Complete list of 2014 Critics’ Choice Awards nominations

“Gone Girl”
“The Grand Budapest Hotel”
“The Imitation Game”
“The Theory of Everything”

The BFCA lineup includes our top eight Oscar frontrunners for Best Picture. as well as our #10 pick (“The Grand Budapest Hotel”). The BFCA snubbed our 9th-ranked pic, “Foxcatcher,” in favor of “Nightcrawler,” which we have in 15th place. 

Last year, the BFCA predicted eight of the nine Best Picture nominees going with “Inside Llewyn Davis” and “Saving Mr. Banks” over surprise Oscar nominee “Philomena.” The winner at both awards was “12 Years a Slave.” 

Likewise in 2012, it got 8/9. The BFCA opted for “The Master” and “Moonrise Kingdom” over eventual Oscar contender “Amour.” Both the BFCA and the Oscars went with “Argo.” 

Wes Anderson, “The Grand Budapest Hotel”
Ava DuVernay, “Selma”
David Fincher, “Gone Girl”
Alejandro G. Inarritu, “Birdman”
Angelina Jolie, “Unbroken”
Richard Linklater, “Boyhood”

Linklater has claimed the lion’s share of critics awards and he leads our Oscar predictions for Best Director. Three of the other BFCA nominees — DuVernay, Fincher and Inarritu — make our cut for the Oscar, with Jolie in sixth place and Anderson in eighth. The BFCA snubbed our fourth place Oscar contender, Morten Tyldum (“The Imitation Game”). 

Last year, the BFCA foresaw four of the Best Director Oscar nominees — Alfonso Cuaron (“Gravity”), Steve McQueen (“12 Years a Slave”), David O. Russell (“American Hustle”) and Martin Scorsese (“The Wolf of Wall Street”) — but opted for Paul Greengrass (“Captain Phillips”) and Spike Jonze (“Her”) over eventual Oscar nominee Alexander Payne (“Nebraska”). Cuaron won both races. 

In 2012, the BFCA presaged three of the Best Director Oscar nominees: Ang Lee (“Life of Pi”); David O. Russell (“Silver Linings Playbook”); Steven Spielberg (“Lincoln”). Snubbed Ben Affleck won the Critics’ Choice award while Lee took home the Oscar.

Critics’ Choice Awards nominations:
‘Birdman’ soars with 13, ‘Grand Budapest Hotel’ reaps 11, ‘Boyhood’ at 8

Benedict Cumberbatch, “The Imitation Game”
Ralph Fiennes , “The Grand Budapest Hotel”
Jake Gyllenhaal, “Nightcrawler”
Michael Keaton, “Birdman”
David Oyelowo, “Selma”
Eddie Redmayne, “The Theory of Everything”

All but Gyllenhaal and Fiennes rank in our top five contenders for Best Actor at the Oscars; they are in sixth and eighth respectively (“Mr. Turner” star Timothy Spall is in seventh). Our fourth place Oscar contender — Steve Carell (“Foxcatcher”) — was snubbed.

Last year, the Critics’ Choice awards foresaw four of the five Oscar nominees: Christian Bale (“American Hustle“), Bruce Dern (“Nebraska“) Chiwetel Ejiofor (“12 Years a Slave“) and Matthew McConaughey (“Dallas Buyers Club“). However it went with Tom Hanks (“Captain Phillips“) and Robert Redford (“All is Lost“) over the late-breaking Leonardo DiCaprio (“The Wolf of Wall Street”). McConaughey won both prizes. 

In 2012, the BFCA foresaw all five of the the eventual Best Actor nominees — Bradley Cooper (“Silver Linings Playbook”), Daniel Day-Lewis (“Lincoln”), Hugh Jackman (“Les Miserables”), Joaquin Phoenix (“The Master”) and Denzel Washington (“Flight”) — with Day-Lewis winning both awards. 

Jennifer Aniston, “Cake”
Marion Cotillard, “Two Days, One Night”
Felicity Jones, “The Theory of Everything”
Julianne Moore, “Still Alice”
Rosamund Pike, “Gone Girl”
Reese Witherspoon, “Wild”

All but Cotillard number among our final five in the Best Actress race at the Oscars. She ranks seventh on that list just behind Amy Adams (“Big Eyes”).

Last year, the Critics Choice Best Actress roster included four of the Oscar contenders — Cate Blanchett (“Blue Jasmine“), Sandra Bullock (“Gravity“), Judi Dench (“Philomena“) and Meryl Streep (“August: Osage County“). It went with Brie Larson (“Short Term 12“) and Emma Thompson (“Saving Mr. Banks“) over eventual Oscar nominee Amy Adams (“American Hustle”). Blanchett won both races. 

In 2012, the BFCA predicted the Best Actress lineup at the Oscars — Jessica Chastain (“Zero Dark Thirty”), Jennifer Lawrence (“Silver Linings Playbook), Emmanuelle Riva (“Amour), Quvenzhane Wallis (“Beasts of the Southern Wild) and Naomi Watts (“The Impossible”) — with Chastain winning over the critics but losing the Oscar to Lawrence. 

Shocking Critics’ Choice snubs: Steve Carell, Amy Adams, Timothy Spall, …

Josh Brolin, “Inherent Vice”
Robert Duvall, “The Judge”
Ethan Hawke, “Boyhood”
Edward Norton, “Birdman”
Mark Ruffalo, “Foxcatcher”
J.K. Simmons, “Whiplash”

All but Brolin make the cut for our Oscar contenders; he is in ninth place on that roster. 

Last year, four of the eventual Oscar nominees first reaped Critics’ Choice bids: Barkhad Abdi (“Captain Phillips“), Bradley Cooper (American Hustle“) Michael Fassbender (“12 Years a Slave“) and Jared Leto (“Dallas Buyers Club“). The BFCA went with Daniel Bruhl “(Rush“) and James Gandolfini (“Enough Said“) over Jonah Hill (“The Wolf of Wall Street”). Leto claimed both prizes. 

In 2012, the BFCA foresaw four of the five Oscar nominees — Alan Arkin (“Argo”), Robert De Niro (“Silver Linings Playbook”), Philip Seymour Hoffman (“The Master”) and Tommy Lee Jones (“Lincoln”) — but nominated Javier Bardem (“Skyfall#”) and Matthew McConaughey (“Magic Mike”) over eventual Oscar winner Christoph Waltz (“Django Unchained“). The BFCA winner was Hoffman. 

Patricia Arquette, “Boyhood”
Jessica Chastain, “A Most Violent Year”
Keira Knightley, “The Imitation Game”
Emma Stone, “Birdman”
Meryl Streep, “Into the Woods”
Tilda Swinton, “Snowpiercer”

All but Chastain and Swinton figure in our top contenders for Best Supporting Actress nominees at the Oscars. Two-time nominee Chastain is in sixth while past champ Swinton (“Michael Clayton,” 2007) is in eighth behind Carrie Coon (“Gone Girl”). The BFCA snubbed Laura Dern (“Wild”), our fifth place Oscar contender. 

Last year, the BFCA previewed four of the Oscar contenders: Jennifer Lawrence (“American Hustle“), Lupita Nyongo (“12 Years a Slave“), Julia Roberts (“August: Osage County“) and June Squibb (“Nebraska“). However, it nominated Scarlett Johansson (“Her“) and Oprah Winfrey (“The Butler“) over Oscar contender Sally Hawkins (“Blue Jasmine”). Nyongo won both awards. 

In 2012, the BFCA got four of the eventual Oscar nominees — Amy Adams (“The Master”);  Sally Field (“Lincoln”); Anne Hathaway (“Les Miserables”); Helen Hunt (“The Sessions”) — but went with Judi Dench (“Skyfall”) and Ann Dowd (“Compliance”) over eventual Oscar nominee Jacki Weaver (“Silver Linings Playbook”). Hathway won over both the BFCA and the academy. 

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